Thursday, March 1, 2012

Multi-colored Snow Crocus

I planted snow crocuses (Crocus crysanthus) last year for the first time and was so delighted with them!  The plants are short -- about 3 or 4 inches tall -- and the blooms are much smaller than the Dutch hybrid crocuses.  Their small, delicate nature makes them look more like wildflowers...which they are in Bulgaria and other parts of Eastern Europe.  There they are sometimes considered weeds.

Last fall I added some bulbs of a snow crocus cultivar, Crocus crysanthus 'Advance', to a spot atop a stone wall where I have a growing collection of creepers and miniature plants.  Small tufts of leaves came up a few weeks ago, then buds started forming, and now I have blooms!   I am thrilled every time I see them!  Banana yellow with orange-red anthers is such a pretty sight against brown mulch and leaf litter.  But let me show you something else...

This is the same plant from the side -- purple on the outside!  In the mornings before the sun comes up, the flowers are closed up tight and all you see is purple with creamy white.  You wonder where the yellow flowers went!   But then!...The day gets going, they open wide et voila! -- this very sunny interior. Magic!

The are many other cultivars of snow crocus in shades of blue, purple, yellow, white or cream.  Or, you can buy mixes that include all the colors.   I've noticed the bloom times tend to be slightly different for each color, so you don't always get more than one color blooming at a time.  That way, it's fun to see which color each new day brings!